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Wiretaps and Warrants

 
 
Reply Wed 24 May, 2006 10:20 pm
The president has sought expanded authority to tap telephones. Some people assert that his actions are illegal, some that what he seeks endangers the right to be free from illegal search and seizure, and some assert that he has lied in connection with this issue. When I research this in Google, I do not easily find articles that make this issue clear. I know that this subject has already been discussed here. However, if anyone cares have a central place to explore this one issue, this thread can serve that purpose.

To those who believed that the president lied, perhaps this can be a place to prove beyond any reasonable deniability that he did. To those who believe that the president didn't lie, perhaps this can be a place to prove that his critics got nothin' when the smoke clears. At the least, this can be a central spot to concentrate on this single topic.

I'll start the ball rolling with an article from the Web.

Quote:
Bush defends NSA spying program
Senators back hearings as president explains campaign remarks

Sunday, January 1, 2006; Posted: 10:10 p.m. EST (03:10 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Sunday defended his administration's use of wiretaps on U.S. citizens without a court order, saying comments he made in 2004 that "nothing has changed" in the use of wiretaps were not misleading.

He also said that the recent exposure of the clandestine wiretapping program -- which set off a storm of criticism and controversy -- harms the country.

Democratic and Republican senators on Sunday expressed support for congressional hearings to review the program, which President Bush secretly authorized shortly after the September 11 attacks.

It allows the National Security Agency to intercept domestic communications without a warrant, as long as one party is outside the United States.

The president has come under heated criticism from many lawmakers, particularly Democrats, who have questioned the legality of the program.

Critics say that judicial checks and balances are a critical part of government and that the courts have a record of supporting presidential requests for wiretaps important for U.S. security.

Bush on Sunday described his program as "necessary to win this war and to protect the American people," and added that the program has been reviewed "constantly" by Justice Department officials.

He said Congress has been briefed about it, although some lawmakers have denied being informed of the program.

The chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, has said he intends to hold hearings into whether the program is legal.

Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that "this is an appropriate time" for congressional hearings.

"Congress quite rightly is trying to take a look at, now that we're past 9/11, we're going to have to live with the war on terror for a long, long while," he told CNN's "Late Edition."

He added, "We want to see what in the course of time really works best."

The administration has cited as legal justification for the program Article II of the Constitution and a post-9/11 law that authorized the president to use force against al Qaeda.

Critics say Bush had no legal standing to authorize domestic wiretaps without obtaining a warrant from a court in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), either in advance or retroactively.

"The FISA act has worked pretty well from the time of President Carter's day to the current time," Lugar said.

Bush: Program 'limited'
Visiting Brooke Army Medical Center Sunday in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Bush bemoaned that the program had been made public.

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into leaks to the media about the NSA program. (Full story)

"The fact that somebody leaked this program causes great harm to the United States," Bush said. "There is an enemy out there. They read newspapers."

"They attacked us before; they will attack us again if they can, and we're going to do everything we can to stop them."

Asked what he would tell Americans worried that the practice violates their privacy rights, Bush said, "If somebody from al Qaeda is calling you, we'd like to know why.

"In the meantime, this program is conscious of people's civil liberties, as am I. This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America -- and I repeat: limited."

Bush said the calls monitored are limited to those between known al Qaeda members or their affiliates outside the United States and people inside the United States.

Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, welcomed the prospect of hearings.

"This year, 2006, we are going to be focusing on the power of the president in time of war," he told CNN. "The White House wants to expand that power in so many areas. Clearly, Congress is holding back."

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, told "Fox News Sunday" that Bush should have gone to Congress if he needed to change the law governing domestic surveillance.

"Unilaterally changing the law because the vice president or president thinks it's wrong, without discussion or change -- that's not the American way," he said.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell told Fox "there's nothing wrong with congressional oversight" but suggested hearings should be conducted in secret by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"We're already talking about this entirely too much out in public as a result of these leaks," said McConnell, the second ranking Republican and majority whip.

Bush explains remarks
During his re-election race in April 2004 in Buffalo, New York, Bush spoke to reporters about the USA Patriot Act and attempted to assure them the measure did not encroach on Americans' civil liberties.

"There are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order.

"Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.

"It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

He explained at the time that a "roving wiretap" allowed the Drug Enforcement Agency to chase down "drug lords" who regularly switched cell phones. But roving wiretaps had not been available "for chasing down terrorists," he said.

"If we couldn't use a tool that we're using against mobsters on terrorists, something needed to happen. The Patriot Act changed that," he said.

On Sunday, Bush said the remark that nothing had changed referred to the roving wiretaps and not to the kind of eavesdropping that came to light after a New York Times report last month.

He rejected a suggestion from a reporter that his April 2004 comments might be considered misleading, given Bush's recent acknowledgment of the NSA program.

"I was talking about roving wiretaps, I believe, involving the Patriot Act," he said. "This is different from the NSA program."


CNN
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 May, 2006 10:41 pm
Nixon bugged one office and was FORCED TO RESIGN. Bush is looking to bug the entire country and we're saying this is ok? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!
0 Replies
 
xingu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:08 am
For anyone who supports Bush in this manner could they explain why he should be allowed to work outside FISA.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:16 am
xingu wrote:
For anyone who supports Bush in this manner could they explain why he should be allowed to work outside FISA.


My advice is that you do not hold your breath while awaiting a rational, coherent justification.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:23 am
Tell ya the truth, Im caught in the screen door on this one. Im shocked that weve resorted to "data mining" phone calls , but I guess my alternative position is "how the hell else are we going to catch those who wish to harm us?"
We cannot employ Marquis of Queensbury rules in the hope that all the terrorists out there are going to follow "codes of gentlemanly engagement".

I dont wanna sit here and bitch about a specific danger , as well as an opportunity to thwart that danger, when , what weve actually got is a dilemma forced on us by our own available technology.

I have an open mind on this, Im not towing any baggage, and, overarching this is my hope that we are not always forced to be in a reactive mode.

Besides, theres so much other **** to impeach GW on that this item will have to "stand in line"
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:28 am
You ignore, however, FM, that terrorists abandoned land lines and standard means of communication long, long ago. They don't go over to the sofa, sit down and pick up the phone to give a jingle to al Qaeda Planning Central. They use throw-away cell phones that they've purchased in a gas station using false identification. They open email accounts, provide the password to the other members of the cell, and then anyone with the password can open and read the emails without downloading them, and therefore leaving no record on the computer they're using to show that they have access to that email account. They use internet cafes which don't require any identification at all. They open ICQ accounts at any number of providers, such a Yahoo, which allows them to talk to one another in real time without leaving a record on the computers they're using, and, once again, they are likely as not communicating through computers at internet cafes. They're a hell of a lot sharper about these sorts of things than the Shrub and company.

In short, data mining land lines produces no useful information about possible terrorist activities, but it does give the government a hell of a lot of access to the call records of ordinary citizens, without having secured the necessary court authorization.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:47 am
Its my understanding that similar surveillance is occuring on the other media as well. (I guess the last I heard was that Qwest was fighting the effort. Im not ignoring anything, you are, in fact making my point that we are attempting to adapt to advancing technology. Listening on 2meter transmission doesnt mean that land lines are abandoned.

As one who uses data mining a lot, we cant make valid inferences without investigating all the sources of data.Thats one of the assumptions in data mining, (data sufficiency) In this case I would include even the mail, credit card receipts, and random purchase data of the kind that we all trail behind us by using "supermarket cards" or other apparently innocuous means that businesses routinely use to track ourprivate lives.

Im afraid that the advance of tech has imparted a real challenge, our constitution is supposed to be a living document, lets see if some team more gifted than the present administration can sort it out
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 06:58 am
Perhaps a more talented team can sort it out, FM. However, the point of what i posted is that the terrorists from whom we have the most to fear have been originally trained in cell techniques by Central Intelligence, and have kept abreast of technological advances ever since the fall of the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. The methods which i have detailed above were ferretted out by European intelligence agencies, mostly as a result of the investigation into the London and Madrid bombings. Terrorists are not supermen, and they make mistakes--they write down things they should not write down, they panic (the cell organization insulates the hierarchy of an organization, but it also lends itself to the sort of paranoia which attends isolation) and make stupid moves. The Europeans have been fairly successful (especially the English and Germans, and since the Madrid bombings, the Spanish) because they effectively use old-fashioned, flat-foot police investigation methods. Often, when they have identified a suspicious individual, they trail them for days or even weeks to establish how they communicate and how they are funded.

You and i are vulnerable to data mining because we use our real names and addresses when we get land lines or cell phones, because we use real identities when we establish email accounts, because we make no effort to hide things on our computers, or to communicate by means that leave no record on our computers. The data mining of the type which the NSA has sought to perform using telecom records simply has no reference to the methods common in terrorist cells. There is a gas station in Columbus, Ohio, at which one can purchase a cell phone for about $30, and one can specify to which foreign nation, or region, one will most commonly call, in order to get the cheapest rates. You fill out a form, and you show them your driver's license. I hope you know how easy it is to get a fake driver's license. If your address on the document does not match the address on the form, that means nothing, since such a circumstance is so common. You fill in the form, and show your ID. If the name matches, you're in business. Most frequently, intelligent criminal financing methods involve getting access to cash, precisely so that one does not leave a record. Many terrorists have been traced after the fact by credit card records, and the nickel finally dropped for al Qaeda--European security agencies now believe that AQ no longer uses credit cards for any other purpose than to secure cash, or to make purchases which would be suspicious if paid in cash. They don't need to fool the cops forever, they just need to stay a few steps ahead of the cops.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 03:50 pm
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 03:53 pm
Sorry to disappoint you, Brandon. I know you're just waiting to unleash your vaunted "But that doesn't prove anything" response.

We're on to you, old boy, clever debater that you are...
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 03:57 pm
D'artagnan wrote:
Sorry to disappoint you, Brandon. I know you're just waiting to unleash your vaunted "But that doesn't prove anything" response.

We're on to you, old boy, clever debater that you are...

I will never get an opportunity to unleash my vaunted "but that doesn't prove anything" response, because none of you has, and none of you will provide the tiniest particle of evidence of exactly what Bush did wrong. You prefer to give variations on the theme of why you could easily give lots of specifics but choose not to give any.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 04:13 pm
This is another bullsh*t thread, in the vein of 'Bush:liar?' started by Brandon.

The proof of this lies in the proposition that the Libs prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that Bush is lying/breaking the law.

The problem is, there will always be a 'reasonable doubt' for Bush supporters. So there's no point in advancing arguments, because it will never constitute 'proof' to the die-hard.

Besides, there is already a thread concentrating these discussions - it's titled "America... spying on Americans 2."

My advice to each and every one of you is to not waste your time fighting the 'reasonable doubt' excuse.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 04:27 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.



Deafening silence? Where the f*c* have you been?

We already did this in the thread entitled, America... Spying on Americans. The thread was created right after Bush's secret domestic spying program was revealed in December 2005. We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law.

You completely IGNORE that we have already done what you're inviting us to do AGAIN. No one here is obligated to reinvent the wheel for you. If you want to learn about wiretaps and warrants--go read the existing thread.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 04:51 pm
Debra_Law wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.



Deafening silence? Where the f*c* have you been?

We already did this in the thread entitled, America... Spying on Americans. The thread was created right after Bush's secret domestic spying program was revealed in December 2005. We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law.

You completely IGNORE that we have already done what you're inviting us to do AGAIN. No one here is obligated to reinvent the wheel for you. If you want to learn about wiretaps and warrants--go read the existing thread.


It's interesting to me that "We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law. " yet most of Congress do not even know chapter and verse of what the program did, nor what it didn't do.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 05:04 pm
We based "chapter and verse" solely on what they admitted to. Unless you are suggesting that they lied about that, I think it's perfectly acceptable to draw a conclusion based on that information.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 May, 2006 05:06 pm
McGentrix wrote:
Debra_Law wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.



Deafening silence? Where the f*c* have you been?

We already did this in the thread entitled, America... Spying on Americans. The thread was created right after Bush's secret domestic spying program was revealed in December 2005. We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law.

You completely IGNORE that we have already done what you're inviting us to do AGAIN. No one here is obligated to reinvent the wheel for you. If you want to learn about wiretaps and warrants--go read the existing thread.


It's interesting to me that "We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law. " yet most of Congress do not even know chapter and verse of what the program did, nor what it didn't do.


We KNOW what Bush admitted in public. We KNOW what Gonzales admitted in public at the senate hearing. Based on those admissions, we KNOW that the Bush Administration is in violation of FISA. In case you have forgotten, go back and read the thread.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 06:28 am
As McWhitey is fond of saying: case closed.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 07:43 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
This is another bullsh*t thread, in the vein of 'Bush:liar?' started by Brandon.

The proof of this lies in the proposition that the Libs prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that Bush is lying/breaking the law.

The problem is, there will always be a 'reasonable doubt' for Bush supporters. So there's no point in advancing arguments, because it will never constitute 'proof' to the die-hard.

Besides, there is already a thread concentrating these discussions - it's titled "America... spying on Americans 2."

My advice to each and every one of you is to not waste your time fighting the 'reasonable doubt' excuse.

Cycloptichorn

I'm not asking for proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I would simply like to see a few specifics of the situation in the poster's own words. If President Bush is guilty as sin, and obviously so, which is the way this thing is being presented, I would think that the people who believe that would welcome the opportunity to present information which bolsters their case. Yet all I see are excuses as to why specifics could easily be presented but must not be.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 07:44 am
Debra_Law wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
This is kind of disappointing. This thread was a golden opportunity for the A2K liberals to get very specific and quote chapter and verse as to what violations of law the president committed, and to demonstrate clearly that he lied, by comparing what he said to what he did. Kind of odd that there is a deafening silence.

I guess they'd prefer to simply reprint newspaper and magazine articles, and refer to alleged proofs that they never quite agree to locate.



Deafening silence? Where the f*c* have you been?

We already did this in the thread entitled, America... Spying on Americans. The thread was created right after Bush's secret domestic spying program was revealed in December 2005. We devoted hundreds of pages of posts to the very specifics of Bush's violation of FISA. We quoted "chapter and verse" as to the president's violations of law.

You completely IGNORE that we have already done what you're inviting us to do AGAIN. No one here is obligated to reinvent the wheel for you. If you want to learn about wiretaps and warrants--go read the existing thread.

I refer only to a deafening silence in this thread. I would have assumed that if the case against Bush were so very obvious, people would have welcomed the chance to prove their point in a thread devoted exclusively to this one subject.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 May, 2006 08:02 am
Okay, here's a good description:


Quote:
Democrats call for investigation of NSA wiretaps

Monday, December 19, 2005; Posted: 4:55 a.m. EST (09:55 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic House leaders called Sunday for an independent panel to investigate the legality of a program President Bush authorized that allows warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens, according to a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

"We believe that the President must have the best possible intelligence to protect the American people, but that intelligence must be produced in a manner consistent with our Constitution and our laws, and in a manner that reflects our values as a nation," the letter says.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; Rep. John Conyers, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee; and Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking member on the House Committee on Government Reform, signed the letter.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Bush's actions, telling "Fox News Sunday" the president had authorized the National Security Agency "to collect information on a limited number of people with connections to al Qaeda."

On Saturday, Bush acknowledged he authorized the NSA to intercept international communications of people in the United States "with known links" to terror groups, and criticized the media for divulging the program.

He said he has re-authorized the NSA wiretap program about 30 times "and I intend to continue doing so as long as we have terror threats."

While the NSA is barred from domestic spying, it can get warrants issued with the permission of a special judicial body called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. Bush's action eliminated the need to get a warrant from the court.

Asked why the president authorized skipping the FISA court, Rice said the war on terrorism was a "different type of war" that gives the commander in chief "additional authorities."

"I'm not a lawyer, but the president has gone to great lengths to make certain that he is both living under his obligations to protect Americans from another attack but also to protect their civil liberties," Rice said on "Meet The Press."

"And that's why this program is very carefully controlled. It has to be reauthorized every 45 days. People are specially trained to participate in it. And it has been briefed to leadership of the Congress, including the leadership of the intelligence committees."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said "Congress was never involved" in Bush's decision.

"I think all you need to know is look at former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham -- he was never informed of domestic eavesdropping," the Nevada Democrat said on "Fox News Sunday." "There should be committees investigating this."

Top Republicans also called for hearings.

"We have to resolve the issue to show Americans we are nation of law not outcomes," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CBS' "Face The Nation." "I would like to see the intelligence committee look into it."

"There is a theme here that is a bit disturbing," the Judiciary Committee member said.

"If you allow him [Bush] to make findings, he becomes the court. You can't allow him or others to play the role of the court because then others adopt that model when they hold our troops."

Sen. John McCain also said that if the matter goes to a congressional panel that the intelligence community should investigate.

"You've got to be very careful about putting into the open situation" sensitive information "that would be helpful to al Qaeda," he said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, told "CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" there were many questions but cautioned against politicizing the matter.

"I'd like to inquire why they didn't go to the Federal Intelligence Security Act," [FISA] which sets up a special court to authorize national security wiretaps," the senator said. "That's a real question they have to answer."

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, said he believes Bush's action violated the law.

"FISA law says it's the exclusive law to authorize wiretaps," he said. "This administration is playing fast and loose with the law in national security. The issue here is whether the president of the United States is putting himself above the law, and I believe he has done so."

Specter, however, said Feingold "is rushing to judgment."

"The president did notify key members of Congress," he said, but he added that the matters of how much those members of Congress were told -- and what they should have done about it -- were unsettled.

Sen. Carl Levin, a member of the Intelligence Committee, said it is possible the president's action was illegal, but that should be determined through hearings.

"But I don't want to prejudge whether the president broke the law," the Michigan Democrat said on "Meet The Press." "We need an explanation. We need it fast. The American public is entitled to the protections of the law."

CNN has not confirmed the exact wording of the president's order.


CNN
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